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Grand Prix Legends
Grand Prix Legends (GPL) is a simulation of the 1967 Formula 1 season,
before cars had the aerodynamic wings and slick tires seen on many modern
race cars. It was published in 1998 by the Papyrus division of Sierra
Sports. To this day it maintains a reputation as a very accurate (although
not perfectly accurate) race car simulator. It's strong points are accurate
car physics (how the car responds and feels on the track), good
force-feedback wheel support, and solid Internet online support through
"VROC" (Virtual Racers Online Connection). The major weak point is a very
steep learning curve as the cars are quite difficult to drive well. Some
people said that this is why GPL did not sell very well.
The cars available include the Lotus 49, Ferrari 312, Eagle T1G, Brabham
BT24, and the BRM P115. There are also two fantasy cars to choose from, the
Murasama and the Coventry - thinly disguised stand-ins for the Honda RA300
and the Cooper T86 (licensing issues precluded these marques from being
included in the package). There is a 3rd party patch available to put the
Cooper and Honda back on the starting grid if you wish.
Certainly the essence of GPL is the talent required to finesse these classic
cars around the challenging circuits of the 1967 era. As in learning to play
a fine musical instrument, you must have the patience and the light, smooth
touch to get the most from these machines. You also need to have an intimate
understanding of how the car setup parameters affect the handling. Luckily,
there are several GPL web sites that cover these issues very well. Once you
have a handle on how to drive these cars correctly the feeling of
accomplishment is very tangible.
There are 11 vintage 1967 tracks included with the simulator. These include
the high speed Monza circuit in Italy, the roller-coaster-like Mosport track
in Canada, the tight streets of Monaco, and the original 14 mile long
Nurburgring course in Germany. A number of GPL community members have
created over 200 free add-on tracks for the simulation.
Other members of the GPL community have created graphic and audio
enhancements to the cars that keep this simulator up-to-date.